Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > Language and Society
Language and Society


  • 6 b/w illus. 9 maps 15 tables
  • Page extent: 514 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.69 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 306.44
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: P40 .D65 1998
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Sociolinguistics

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521450461 | ISBN-10: 0521450462)

This thoroughly revised and updated edition of Downes' textbook is an accessible introduction to the social aspects of language and their various explanations. Topics covered include domains of language use, language change, code-switching, speech as social action, and the nature of meaning and understanding. This second edition includes an analysis of language standardisation, language conflict and planning.

• The clearest and most reliable introduction to the field of sociolinguistics available today • A clear survey of the key topics students will face when coming to the subject for the first time • This new, updated edition has been thoroughly revised to take account of new areas and directions in the subject


Acknowledgements; 1. Linguistics and sociolinguistics; 2. A tapestry in space and time; 3. Language varieties: processes and problems; 4. Discovering the structure in variation; 5. Rhoticity; 6. At the intersection of social factors; 7. Change, meaning and acts of identity; 8. The discourse of social life; 9. Communication: words and world; 10. Action and critique; 11. Language and social explanation; Further reading; References; Index.


'Downes's Language and Society is the clearest and most reliable introduction to the field of sociolinguistics available today.' William Labov

'Of textbooks on the market, Downes's is arguably the best, providing the most thorough overview of the subject.' Language

'… a useful and original introduction, one which accomplishes the difficult task of being suitable for both the student of language and the general reader.' Jenny Cheshire

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis